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EBay generates $2B in mobile sales in 2010

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January 7, 2011

eBay for Microsofts Windows Phone 7

eBay for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7

EBay Inc. claims it generated close to $2 billion in global mobile sales in 2010—more than three times the mobile gross merchandise value in 2009 and considerably more than its projected total of $1.5 billion.

Mobile shopping grew exponentially in 2010 and eBay claims that its applications have achieved more than 30 million downloads to date worldwide. The company claims that users from more than 190 countries used its mobile applications last year.

“It does not surprise me and it showcases the rapid transition of shoppers to the mobile channel,” said Sucharita Mulpuru, vice president and principal analyst of ebusiness and retail at Forrester Research, Cambridge, MA. “This means that maybe about 5 percent of their [total] GMV is through mobile now?

“I suspect they still have significant headroom for increasing that figure even higher,” she said.

Mobile transaction boom
In 2010, eBay claims that its global mobile sales more than tripled, generating nearly $2 billion in gross merchandise volume.

In the United States, eBay claims that its mobile sales grew nearly 175 percent year-over-year compared to 2009, generating nearly $850 million in GMV.

International sales made up more than half of eBay’s mobile GMV in 2010. Top markets include Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Britain.

Outside the U.S., the leading eBay mobile markets are Germany and Britain, which combined generated nearly one-third of eBay’s mobile sales in 2010.

The fastest-growing international eBay mobile markets are Australia and Britain.

In the U.S., clothing/shoes/accessories, mobile phones/PDAs, collectibles, jewelry/watches and toys/hobbies led in terms of mobile purchases last year.

In 2010, eBay expanded its presence to five major mobile platforms, which it claims lead to greater adoption of its applications.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Apple iPhone users continue to lead the way in mobile shopping on eBay.

Since its initial release in 2008, eBay claims that more than 15 million people downloaded its iPhone application.

EBay’s iPad application debuted as a top 10 free application and more than 35 percent of iPad owners have downloaded the application.

EBay launched mobile applications for the Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 operating systems in 2010.

Comparison-shopping became a hot trend in 2010, per eBay.

Downloads of the RedLaser iPhone application have more than tripled since eBay acquired the company in June, totaling nearly 7 million downloads to date.

Shoppers bought everything from cars and trucks to clothing, shoes and accessories through eBay’s mobile applications.

EBay claims that a purchase is made every second through its mobile applications. It said that 13 pieces of clothing, pairs of shoes or accessories are sold every minute through its applications.

Users of eBay’s mobile applications make 94 bids every minute, per the company.

Three-to-four Ferrari’s are bought every month through eBay’s mobile applications.

Diamond jewelry, designer handbags and luxury watches topped 2010’s most expensive holiday purchases via mobile.

“The nature of what they’re selling is very aligned with mobile commerce—eBay is able to use mobile devices to capture quick transactions that can be made on-the-go without significant research or may have limited-time offers or inventory associated with them,” Ms. Mulpuru said.

Final Take
Jack Abraham, founder of eBay’s Milo.com,  gives his take on the outlook for mobile commerce in 2011

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at dan@mobilemarketer.com.

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